Little mistakes are costing A's 

October, 12, 2006
The Tigers played a sloppy game, but the A's played a sloppier one, and Esteban Loaiza couldn't keep the game close.

Nobody pitched well for the first six innings. Justin Verlander was his usual self, throwing gas and (after the first inning) a good breaking ball, but with below-average command. The A's had the right approach for the most part, working the count and putting men on base. Verlander faced 24 hitters, and 12 of them saw at least five pitches. If the Yankees had taken that approach against Verlander last Thursday, tonight's game would have been in New York (and would have been rained out, but that's another show). The A's touched Verlander for four runs, which should have been enough.

But it wasn't. Loaiza continued to exasperate, looking good for three innings, losing his command at a highly inappropriate moment in the fourth, walking Pudge Rodriguez on four pitches to load the bases, then throwing a four-seamer right down the middle to Craig Monroe, who might as well have ordered that pitch from the concierge. Later, Loaiza hung a changeup to Alexis Gomez -- right pitch, wrong execution -- who hit a two-run homer that turned out to be critical.